Teenagers 17 years old and younger will no longer be allowed inside Towson Town Center without adult supervision on weekend nights, mall management announced Thursday.
The new policy, beginning Sept. 16, requires shoppers 17 and younger be accompanied by a parent or other supervising adult who is at least 21. The policy will be in effect after 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The rules extend to the parking garage and sidewalks.
“Everyone is welcome at Towson Town Center at any time – we simply require that during certain hours families spend their shopping time together,” Lisa Bisenius, senior general manager of Towson Town Center, said in a news release. “Providing a pleasant and comfortable experience for our guests is our top priority. The (Parental Guidance Required) program is intended to enhance the shopping experience in ways the entire community will appreciate.”
During curfew hours, trained public safety officers and off-duty police officers stationed at all mall entrances will check IDs of all patrons who appear to be 17 and under.
One adult may accompany up to four youths, and all accompanied youth must remain with the supervising adult at all times. Those who provide proper identification proving they are at least 18 will be offered an optional wristband.
The new policy was lauded by county officials, including Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, County Councilman David Marks and Nancy Hafford, executive director of the Towson Chamber of Commerce.
Announcements will be made inside the mall starting at 4 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, giving unsupervised teens time to leave the mall before the curfew takes effect.
Greg Harris, a spokesman for the mall, said in an email no one incident led to the curfew.
He said there have been incidents when unsupervised teens behaved in ways that hurt the mall's "family-friendly environment," and the mall believes mandating parental supervision will help.